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tv   Tech Know  Al Jazeera  October 7, 2013 1:30pm-2:01pm EDT

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>> low-end welcome. i'm phil torrez here to talk about innovations that can change lives. we're going to explore the intersection of hardware and humanity . lindsay moran is a former cia agent, kyle hill is an engineer, tonight he's got the dirtiest job and the science that can revolutionize indians's dairy farms. michelle nixon, and i'm phil tors.
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that' torrez and let's do some science. >> we are back for another exciting show and lindsay you can start us off. this is important to you as a mother. >> i did a story on ballistic backpacks and bulletproof backpacks. one being a former cia officer who thinks any layer of added security is good and one as a mom in do i really want to give my kids the idea that this kind of technology is going to keep them safe? let's have a look.
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>> as a former cia agent i learned how to shoot a variety of guns. so when techknow asked me to cover a story about the trend in bulletproof back to school supplies, it intrigued me. as a former operative and as a mom. back to school shopping it's always the most stressful time of year for parents like me who are not prepared and now we've got one more thing to worry about: some parents are buying items like this insert intended to bulletproof backpacks to their back to school shopping list. in the wake of the sandy hook shooting, it's no surprise that this year security is a big concern. i visited one company called
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hard wire, based in maryland, which manufactures bulletproof school accessories. >> where are we going now? >> onto the factory floor and this factory was built like, right in the height of the iraq and afghanistan conflict. it started as a vehicle armoring company. we moved into bulletproof body armor and after sandy hook we took that technology and applied it to school wear. >> inserts for school backpacks, white boards and stick on. they are made of a synthetic fine are call dynema. >> it all starts from this material which is what you're holding is four layers of super-fine fiber. it's kind of hard to get it started. you can start to see what it's made of. >> oh yeah. don't floss your edit with this.
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>> it's gorilla floss, for sure. the key is time, temperature and pressure. we found that with increasing pressure ballistic properties went up. the harder we would squeeze it add the right temperature the more the ballistic resistance there was. >> i've got to be honest, it is so light i'm having a hard time believing that this could withstand rapid fire weapons. >> that little piece of plastic that's less than a quarter-inch thick has 400 layers in it. but it's eight, nine times lighter than steal with the same type of stopping power. >> as they say, seeing is believing. we went to a shooting range to test hard wire 's bulletproof being material.
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starting with a .9 millimeter glock. >> let's turn this into a ballistics challenge. ear plugs in. >> clear. >> definitely hit it. thank you . well? >> nothing penetrated the pack but you can see a couple holes down here writ hit. some of the rounds were deflected down through the bottom. and the ones that didn't go through, there they are. >> they're still hot. >> there's no penetration. the way it's designed, it actually absorbs the energy and collapses around it which is perfect for a ballistics panel. if you are holding it, your hand is going to sting but rather than my chest. >> would you try it on a heavier round?
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>> let's try a .357 magnum. >> how heavy is that? >> it depends on the weight. this is about 1150 feet per second coming out of the muzzle, this one is about 1200 feet per second. depends on what you're firing and what you prefer. >> my son asked me if we could put his homework in here. sorry, jessie, no such luck. you got do your homework. >> hot, eyes and ears. [ shots ring out ] >> clear. >> if you think about the power it takes for this insert to stop a bullet traveling at an incredibly fast velocity and actually trap it within the insert it's pretty amazing. >> i'm going to go ahead and admit that i'm pretty impressed
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by how the ballistic backpacks withstood some pretty powerful weaponry at the range. but it's not as well as they can take the gun fire, there's also the question of whether or not teachers can really use these in the classroom. dr. barry toll is the head of the wuf worchester academy. >> he was offering to donate are white boards and blas ballistic clip boards. he had them delivered. >> was there skepticism from the teachers? >> it gave them something they would have as a tool in case of an incident. i think they became not only
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relieved but true believers. >> some teachers at his school have importanced the purpose o of - endorsed the borns importance. >> this is not screaming to the kids, this is a shield. >> it seems like watching you teach, you using it, it seems like a tool integrated into the classroom. could you demonstrate how you would use it? >> if i ever had it, you could use it as a shield, hopefully not, but -- >> and rush at the intruder or just hold it up? >> i don't know. i'm not sure what i would do. >> coming up next: i test how
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the inserts hold up against assault weapons. >> we want to hear what you think about these stories. join the conversation by following us on twitter and at [[voiceover]] every day, events sweep across our country. and with them, a storm of views. how can you fully understand the impact unless you've heard angles you hadn't considered? antonio mora brings you smart conversation that challenges the status quo with unexpected opinions and a fresh outlook. including yours. consider this. unconventional wisdom.
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[[voiceover]] there's more to america. more stories. more voices. more points of view. >>from our headquarters in new york ... [[voiceover]] now there's a news channel with more of what
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americans want to know. >>i'm ali velshi, and this is real money. >>this is america tonight. >>our news coverage, reporting, and documentaries explore, inspire, and reveal more of america's stories. >>i'm here to investigate genetically modified salmon. >> ♪ ♪ >> hey guys welcome back to techknow, i'm phil torrez. i'm with the guys. but i don't know if you agree with me but when you put that technology in the classroom they're putting up the shield. if somebody is in there with the gun they should get out of there. >> that's true. even in the cia we are trained to get off the x, get out of the dangerous situation. not necessarily to try to defend ourselves. this is kind of using a very old technology to address an issue
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that it's very pai paramount inr society, how do we protect our kids, how do we prevent another tragedy like at newtown. let's take a look. sadly, plas --mass shoot beings seem to be part of the american landscape. i set out to protect the most vulnerable, our children. back at hard wire, i asked for my personal training session of how to use a white board as a shield. >> it's designed to close the gap. good. >> can i give it a try? >> absolutely. >> i'm going to ask you not to come full speed, it's very hard. >> shut the door. position themselves so they can confront the attacker when they come in. >> well, if you had one word to describe it, what would it be? >> empowering. >> same word every single teacher we give it to you, says the same thing. thank you for not break my
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fingers. [ laughter ] >> i later showed this video to brendan heroine, a professor at health and human security. >> anything that we can use in order to buy time for our children, is a good thing. but hopefully, every teacher that is given a white board has some level of training. you can't just do it one time and say okay i got it. it's too late to read the instructions once the shooting starts. >> but what about the role of bulletproof batches in schools? i wanted to hear from other mothers that the insert is a good idea. >> i think it's a false sense of security. even if i hold this, i think this is heavy. if you can flee from an assailant, i think this would weigh somebody down.
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>> jennifer cropper disagrees. >> put them in the backpack. okay, you have a bulletproof insert in your backpack. my child would say yes i can have the other kids get behind me. but in actuality they might be better off ditching their backpack and running. >> you're in different situations where you're not able to run and not able to go anyplace. i want him to know that there's something that he can do. instead of being a sitting duck, i think that employees should be hired to guard every school entrance. more solutions along those lines that would be preventative. >> the debate over how to best secure schools is complicated. like many innovations, the development of hard wire's technology have outpaced public polls how and when it should be used.
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but there are trends to consider. semiautomatics, how would these backpacks hold up? >> today i'm going to practice shooting, this .357 magnum, and my target is this backpack, fully loaded with everything you need for schools, notebook, composition, kind of stylish pencil case and last but not least: bulletproof insert. [ gun shots ] [ zipper ] >> oh yeah, it went through all this. whoa! school stuff like swiss cheese but let's see how our
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bulletproof insert did? it did what it was supposed to do. the bullet bullets did not penetrate the back of the backpack. it did well. semiautomatic lets you get a lot of sholts off, they are -- shots off. this is a bad boy. so i just finished shooting at the backpack with a semi automatic, which is a bigger slug. let's see how the insert did. you can see the two bullets entered here and there's the slug, that's a big one, this thing stopped it dead in its tracks. before a semi automatic 45 and after, semi automatic 45. not too shabby. i'm going to shoot with an automatic rifle. legality me make clear, the
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insert is not meant to withstand the power of this rifle. as you can see, the gun fire from the automatic rifle just tore through insert. so as amazing as this technology is, it just goes to show that no armor can stop everything. assault rifles like this were used at three mass shootings. stockton, columbine and most recently, newtown. >> so i think that piece could be argued for ages. lindsay, you have more information often us. >> the national report card on protecting children in disaster recently issued a statement that in 28 states public schools have failed to meet the minimum government standards for protecting children in the event of a disaster and for basic school safety. you know that's kind of a compelling statistic and frightening a way. in some ways it is an added
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layer of security but it does beg the question: is it more like a security blanket? >> it sound likes with new information from your report card, groundwork need to be done first. first they need to have the minimal required security at schools in the first place before we put a bandage on with some kind of new technology. >> after every tragedy there's always these initiatives and efforts to try to make our schools safer whether it be panic buttons in classrooms or sophisticated screening methods at the front door. i guess it's a question of how secure can we possibly make our schools? >> and then the issue is that added security can actually have a negative effect on students psychological well-being. metal detectors alone reduce students desire to be in school. you have a higher class skipping rate and an increase in
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violence. that makes you wonder, how much security is too much security to a point where you're stifling the students. >> fascinating piece. we could talk about this for ages. but we're moving on to something smellier. kyle. >> one of the largest dairy farms in the nation is dealing with 5 million gallons of manure every day.
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hi, my name is jonathan betz,
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>> hey guys, welcome back to techknow. kyle you've got a story for us that shows us how to do with millions of gallons of cow manure. >> sure, as you can see, i dealt with 35,000 cows. milk isn't the only thing that cows produce a ton of. i went to the largest -- one of the largest dairy farms in america and how they're taking
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advantage of their manure to fuel all the milk trucks on clean renewable energy. we're about to get the scoop on poop. [ cows maoin mooing ] >> at first glance this might look like your typical dairy farm in the heart of america. >> we probably have 32,000 acres that we own. we milk on 11 sites, we have 11 parlors and we're milking about 36,000 cows. >> what makes this farm unique isn't what you see, it's what smell. -- what you smell. s. >> these cows are full of it and it's not just milk. so you don't just have all these cows here for producing milk. it's actually a really great story. we take two products, milk and
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manure. they are both separated from the cow. the manure in the barns, the milk in the milking parlor. they're able to deliver that milk all over the midwest. what you see behind me is fair oaks 2 million gallons of clean renewable fuel. to put that into perspective, that's enough to fuel 35-747s and owhole fleet of their milk trucks which they do every day on the farm. >> a highly efficient anaerobic digester which producer natural gas. >> we produce into the central digester. >> how do you deal with all the manure they're producing constantly every day? >> we use a vacuum tanker,
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so -- vac and that's where the technology for cleaning the gas comes in. >> manure is poured into the digester and heat it. piped as renewable natural gas. the leftover is used as fertilizer. >> we're taking something that potentially could be a contaminant to the environment, totally taking that out of the picture but at the same time creating a new energy source for the united states that's not carbon-based and we feel pretty good about that. >> so what have we got here? >> we got the future. the future's laying right in front of you. this is a little heifer calf that was born in the last 45 minutes. and that's what it's about. >> how many are born every day? >> probably about 140 to 150.
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>> this isn't just the cycle of life. this is the start of the cycle you've got going on here. the crops from the manure, which makes the milk, which makes the methane and into the crops to feed the little guy like this one. >> it is a perfect circle with virtually no waste. >> right here is the start of the whole process. >> this is the start of the process. the feed, the farms, that's the start of the process. >> mark gave me an up-close look at the amazing technology that makes it all possible. >> baisk basically we are standing on top of the digester. >> like a cow gut. >> the same enzymes do so in the tank except this time we capture it instead of her belching it.
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all the nutrients stay in the liquid. that gets returned to the land like we've always used it in the dairy industry. >> i see a lot of farms having the ability to replicate this model and turn their byproducts into real energy, and help save the planet. >> does it feel any different than any other diesel engine? >> no. it's obviously cleaner, i see no difference as far as pulling loads or anything like that. >> can you show me? >> sure. ♪ ♪ >> in the face of climate change nearly every major industry is going ohave to adapt and evolve. it's inspiring to see sustainability on such a large scale right here in the heart land of america. >> sustainability has always been a part of our farming operations. we just keep taking it to
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different levels. because to survive in the 21st century you're going to need sustainability, creativity, technology, innovation to get us there. >> you guys want some ice cream? >> yes. >> and this grass to glass thinking has made this ice cream famous. >> what flavors do you want? >> strawberry. >> have you guys seen any cows on the farm? >> yes. >> what were they doing? >> pooping. >> i've been seeing cows poop on this farm all day today! >> this is better. >> this is better than any ice cream you've ever had? >> uh-huh. >> is this kind of one of your proudest achievements in farming? you've been farming for years and years. is this something that you really just take pride in? >> oh yeah, how can you not? the opportunity one, just to interact with people like we are to create this
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edutainment center if you will, this is just a nirvana for anything that's involved in farming and agriculture, it's terrific. >> it seemsd like a pretty -- it seems like pretty enticing model. are other farms adapting this? >> almost 20% is from farms and cattle. to see what they're doing with their milk trucks is really forward-thinking and not only is it innovate but it is also scalable. you can have small scale digesters that basically do the same thing where you can recoup energy cost by replacing back to the grid. you can do a variety of things like you see in indiana. >> it's interesting how old technology is being applied with modern problems. we'll be back next week with
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